Last updated: 9 July 2020
Before you say anything, yes this is another article about COVID-19 (coronavirus). However, we’re currently getting a lot of questions about whether or not it’s safe to ride a bike outdoors so we think it’s an important one.
The short answer to can I still ride my bike outdoors? is yes ... but with some qualifications.
With the situation changing regularly, it’s easy to be confused.
People across the country are now being told to stay at home to stop the spread and 'flatten the curve'. This includes stricter guidelines regarding gatherings of more than two people.
However, governments are still recommending that people continue to be active (with some strict guidelines regarding the gatherings of more than two people.)
In fact, it’s never been more important to look after your physical and mental health.
In the current environment, bike riding is one of the best ways to still get the 30 minutes of exercise you need each day. Of course, we need to make sure we're maintaining a physical distance of 1.5 metres, self isolating when required and practicing good hygiene.
Advice for riding your bike outdoors during the COVID-19 pandemic
Bicycle Network has the following advice for bike riding. This advice was last updated on Thursday 9 July 2020 and assumes that you are not sick or self-isolating. Guidelines vary from state to state.
Melbourne metropolitan area and Mitchell Shire Council
There are specific restrictions for people who live in the Melbourne metropolitan area and Mitchell Shire Council. You are allowed to ride a bike, but must remember the following.
- You can ride by yourself, with people you live with, or with one other person
- You can ride for exercise and recreation or transport
- You can ride in different suburbs and council areas but you cannot leave the Melbourne metropolitan area
When going for a bike ride you should maintain a minimum distance of 1.5 metres from other people and be sensible when planning the length of your trip.
Rest of Australia
- You can go for a ride with other people but each person should maintain physical distancing and stay 1.5 metres apart.
- No more than 20 people can ride together in New South Wales and Queensland.
- Riding with your family is allowed
- Riding a bike to the supermarket, chemist or work is allowed and a good thing to do.
- When you do go for a ride you should avoid sharing equipment and be mindful of where you place your helmet, glasses, gloves etc. Keep them with your bike or on your person rather than placing them down somewhere.
- When you return from a ride, wash your hands thoroughly and wipe down your bike, helmet and any gear.
If you’re self-isolating and feeling well, set up a stationary bike with an indoor trainer if you’ve got one.
This advice has been pulled together from relevant health, government and sporting bodies. If this changes, we will update it as necessary.
Need a service?
We've done a quick call around of the major bike stores and mechanics, and it seems many bike shops are still open for business — but closely following the government advice and restricting store access inline with social distancing measures, as well as implementing strict hygiene policies for staff and customers.
If you need to book your bike in for a fix-up, it is highly recommended to call ahead, as some shops are only taking online bookings or opening by appointment only.
Bicycle Network's guidelines have been taken from current government documents or websites. Please always refer to information from your home state to make sure you are doing the right thing.
Relevant government websites: